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    Thread: Attaining lucidity in other Altered States of Concsiousness

    1. #1
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      Attaining lucidity in other Altered States of Concsiousness

      Would it possible to induce lucidity in other different ASC? Like that which happened in the film "A Beautiful Mind" based on John Forbes Nash, Jr.'s life and how apparently he was able to realize his schizophrenia? Or to keep lucidity while in an LSD trip or things like that?

      Edit: I mean, if dreams could be considered to be Altered States of Consciousness, and based on the premise that during hallucinogenic experiences our level of awareness is reduced. If we can induce lucidity during a dream, why not doing the same during such experiences, if those are using the same mechanisms to produce the hallucinations? I guess it should be known a state of awareness to get that point during the experience in the first place, but I don't certainly know.
      Last edited by Box77; 08-05-2014 at 04:30 PM.

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      Inducing and controlling hallucinations? Like Closed eye visuals?
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      "Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before." -Edgar Allan Poe

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      The biggest issues with successfully pulling this off is, I would imagine, to be very knowledgeable and adept at meditation and controlling one's perceptions. The brain on hallucinogens such as, for example, dissociative anesthetics such as ketamine, PCP, or DXM, or psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin (or more accurately, psilocin), or DMT, is highly disrupted from its normal self-regulating loops it must go through when modulating the creation of your perception and conscious awareness and it's continuous "flow". Attention and focus is normally a top-down process that makes use of many feedback loops that raise and dull your awareness by the activation or deactivation of various parts of the brain. When you take dissociatives, your brain has many of these self-regulating feedback loops shut off completely, and when that happens, hallucinations form. Psychedelics, on the other hand, cause these loops to become over-excited and at different points in different parts of the brain, after reaching a certain threshold, the loop can no longer sustain itself after becoming too overexcited and the loop completely uncouples (or, in other words, shut down/turn off). In this case, the over-excitation can cause hallucinations or odd disturbances in consciousness itself, but the subsequent uncoupling of the loop then has the same effect as the dissociatives, to form hallucinations due to lack of sensory input.

      The thing of it all is, most of these loops take place in the frontal lobes, which are required for reasoning and recognition among other things, but in this case those are highly relevant because it directly affects lucidity. However, I think when you are at certain states such as those caused by common psychedelics or dissociatives wind up being their own full blown experience, even if it is almost all hallucinated (quite like a dream, read up especially on breaking through on DMT or being stuck in a K-hole), it is known more as the experience of the drug than a dream you have gained lucidity in.

      That all being said, I'm sure given the right amount of practice, technique, and knowledge in meditation like those seen in monks and the like, it may be possible. However, most of the neurotransmitters involved in altered states prevent the sleep-wake system the mind and body operate off of from functioning correctly, so you may potentially be unable to accomplish what you're asking due to not even being able to be "asleep" and "dreaming" according to our definitions.
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      ^^ What he said.

      I think that if you were truly lucid during a chemically altered state, the state wouldn't be so altered anymore.
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      Thanks a lot snoop!! Your explanations put light in part of my question I think, which is the processes involved during induced hallucinogenic experiences although there's still some other psychological phenomena that apparently includes hallucinations without the intervention of external substances, and there's the main point of my question which I hope, we'll get to that point soon, because I think it's closely related to the process of dreaming.

      But before I go on with any other thing, I would like to let things clear, I don't want to promote the use or abuse of any substance, I'm just wondering about the processes involved during those experiences and if it would be possible to exert a better control over them in order to understand it. I think that specially in the case of schizophrenia, it could help in order to better understand that phenomena. If somebody knows more about the subject, I would really appreciate your contributions with articles, experiences, other threads, etc. I don't know if this thread actually fits this sub-forum, if any Adm find a better place to put it, ( different than the garbage can), thank you.

      Now, back to the road, I remember reading an article long ago, about some Nobel prize winner who used psychedelics to solve some problems which eventually lead him to the winning of the prize and I wanted to find more about him because of I didn't even remember what was his name. Then I got to a very interesting article which I would like to share here: Psychedelics Boost Intelligence - claims Nobel Prize winner, Stanford Research Institute, and others - BrighterBrains.org and this one here: Psychedelic Scientists: LSD-Using Visionaries - Impact Magazine

      On the other hand, the mentioned film in my first post, "A Beautiful Mind" which I think is very suggestible to have some insight on the subject of schizophrenia, arose a question in my mind, if it would be possible to achieve a better understanding from an inner point of view, about that considered mental disorder which IMO could be nothing more than a misunderstanding of a common phenomena that we humans share and didn't realize yet. We could be constantly living in some sort of "altered" states of mind. And as Sageous said, we could be considering those states as "normal" in stead.

      My point is, if we don't know the world as it is, and we are constantly assuming truths from things we don't know perhaps the world we think we live in, is different than the real world. A way I found to explain it is this: If I look around and find a door I never went through, I could assume it must be a living room behind it although I don't actually know what's behind it. I just base my assumption on the things I know from previous experiences. My brain could build an imaginary scenario of 'what's behind it', but most of the times (if not all), that scenario won't exactly fit my assumptions. I could say "there's a sofa", and the closest I can get is there will be a sofa, but it won't have the shape, colors, textures, etc. of the one I imagined. If I go around and start taking a look on all the things that surround me, there's a lot of things I don't know which normally I don't pay attention at all. But, if I start to care about it, my world will eventually turn in a street full of places that I don't know what's behind their walls. If I extend my view to other things, it goes even more complicated because of I don't know about them unless I have already interacted with them, and if I assume a point of view to be truth about the world that surrounds me without questioning it, a lot of things will start apparently falling into place apparently confirming my assumptions although many times it will be just an illusion. It's like a kid's play, when we are kids, we use to assume to be a character of our election and turn our point of view as we actually are that character, the world then changes into the scenario where this character exists and so on. What about if we are constantly doing it and still we don't know that we are like kids playing to be our favorite hero and we can change that assumption whenever we want?

      Once I wondered if it's possible to bring our real world consciousness into a dream, why not doing the opposite? To bring into real world our dream consciousness. I think that's the nature of hallucinations, a 'dream consciousness' brought into the real world. Usually, in a dream we assume things to be truth as they are our real world. Our dream character has its own 'personality' which sometimes doesn't fit our real world personality. Sometimes I became lucid in an apparently real world and it was really hard to find the difference, even worse that I didn't remember how my real world was then. I know with practice and stuff, one learn to differentiate one from the other, but in almost ordinary sleepers, we don't tend to distinguish one from another until we wake up. What happens when you wake up in a real world to realize it's not real?
      Last edited by Box77; 08-06-2014 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Extending
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      Just an impulsive reaction on your opening post - I wouldn't exactly say, that awareness is reduced in psychedelic experience - I could bring tons of quotes to demonstrate this - but I guess, I'll take time tomorrow, and read back!

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      On the other hand, the mentioned film in my first post, "A Beautiful Mind" which I think is very suggestible to have some insight on the subject of schizophrenia, arose a question in my mind, if it would be possible to achieve a better understanding from an inner point of view, about that considered mental disorder which IMO could be nothing more than a misunderstanding of a common phenomena that we humans share and didn't realize yet. We could be constantly living in some sort of "altered" states of mind. And as Sageous said, we could be considering those states as "normal" in stead.
      It's not considered a mental disorder just because of the symptoms it presents, but because of a range of factors, being the most important one the continuous distress it causes to the person. Besides, schizophrenia is hardly the best example: it's not a disorder, it's a syndrome. The guys at DSM like to give pretty names to everything, but things like depression and schizophrenia are merely umbrella terms: not all schizophrenic people suffer from psychotic episodes, not all hear voices, etc etc. There are actually many mentally healthy people that hear positive/pleasant voices. How to resume then schizophrenia to a possible ASC? You can't.

      There is some interesting question to make though: can't we understand psychosis through the concept of dreams? Leaving that aside, one can assume that self-awareness differs in these 2 states: in a lucid dream, you're already increasing activity in prefrontal areas, and as lucidity itself increases, the levels of brain activity on those regions match a waking state progressively better and better. However, this is very different from any type of brain dis-regulation cause by disease/drugs, which may hinder the kind of self-awareness promotion you find. (Oh, not to mention that self-awareness can be indeed heightened in some ASC)
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      To be continued...

      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      Would it possible to induce lucidity in other different ASC?
      I'm still unsure, if I understand you correctly. Are you talking about going to sleep while in a chemically altered state of mind and then become lucid?

      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      Like that which happened in the film "A Beautiful Mind" based on John Forbes Nash, Jr.'s life and how apparently he was able to realize his schizophrenia?
      Do you mean, realizing that one hallucination of his was actually that, do you liken this to becoming lucid in dreams? I nick your post from next door and give you my huge answer, which I cobbled together for where we came from with this topic: http://www.dreamviews.com/science-ma...hroughs-2.html

      It's not so much about "anomalies of self-awareness" like this seems to be called in English, we say "I-disorder", things like depersonalisation, derealisation, dissociation in the context of schizophrenia, which might fit better into what you are on about than hallucinations or delusions after all - but hey - nobody needs to read it, I'll just paste it over and hope, it's interesting:

      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      As far as I can remember, he notices something about the little girl who uses to appear with the other guys, and that finally, is the breaking point where he accepts his state of mind. I don't know if it happened for real or is just part of the plot of the film, but I wondered if it could be possible to apply certain logic in those altered states of mind to help people to elucidate the difference and perhaps reach certain level of lucidity like in a lucid dream.
      Oh - that's most definitively possible anyway. Many people with hallucinations come to recognize and distinguish them from say real voices. Seems one can learn that with experience, and the official doctrine in psychiatry, that psychosis is out of bounds for talking psychotherapy is gone as well, including acutely. An only very recent development, though. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seems to show good effects - esp. in gaining insight into the workings of it all, and to learn to deal and live with it. No wonder, psychoanalysis didn't work, if you ask me - they were geniuses nevertheless, though...

      It's for the individual person to decide, how much "disorder" is okay with them (well - at least until it's not okay with society any more) - weighed against the sort and dose of medication which would be needed to say completely silence the voices.
      Also check this out: Hearing Voices Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      It's also possible to be deluded on the one hand, and know that it is so on the other, but still believe in the delusion - weird thing called "double-bookkeeping" and rare as far as I know, but it's possible. Like seeing it for what it is and wanting it to go away and voluntarily take meds for it while still acting and thinking in accordance with the delusion. Maybe that would be your lucidity?

      The DSM (diagnostic manual) - weak as it is - has these days the main criterion, if the person considers it a problem and actually suffers. Not that "something is off" as such any more. Well - I didn't look it up now - I hope, this is so and my memory with me - but anyway - progress is being made, noticeable but slowly. There has been so much barbarism in the field and still is in many places I suppose - like this insulin-shock therapy applied to Nash, and the olden days' electro convulsive therapy (ECT) without giving something to get rid of the muscle-spasms and the connected pain, which is easily possible. But at least the latter does demonstrably and often drastically alleviate severe depression - the former was just idiocy, often lethal...
      What I wasn't aware of to a time, was how it's the patients themselves, having to plead for ECT these days, at least in Germany. There are high standards set, also legally, and it's a very touchy subject - no clinic wants to get into the press with electro-shocking folks - exceedingly rarely done.

      New ways need to be found - and are!
      Stephen Fry made an excellent documentary - in my eyes - on bipolar disorder, including his own - I can't recommend watching it enough, actually.

      The second one is somewhat deeper, more personal, but also more interesting and with seriously moving stories - including his own severe depressive breakdown including finally hearing voices, which might have been the reason to make a follow-up on it. It starts with a short recap of the first one, but don't miss out on that, great interview with Carrie Fisher aka "princess Lea" from Star Wars and much more. Many people think - hallucinations - that's schizophrenia - even many doctors do. Among other things, because people lie about it, understandably. Hallucinations are perfectly within the bipolar range, if rare, delusions are actually typical for a severe mania.





      Been a while since I first saw it - it was well worth watching twice I love the man anyway for his work!
      Always astounds me, how he manages to get paid, for what other people only dream of doing for some of his projects, and being such an intelligent, and eloquent and educated and outspoken person - such a fantastic comedian. I can't think of many truly "great minds" to admire these days, being completely serious here - he my hero!

      Buut: What Fry didn't include, because it is very recent, actually - is that ketamine gets statistically the same or even better effects than ECT can, even in the worst of depressive cases - cases, where the latter is considered. And it works within hours!
      And by involving the so called brain-derived nerve growth factor, actual anatomical activity ensues - new synapses!!
      Maybe so does ECT, but by giving a trauma first, not a chemical trigger for growth and regeneration.

      Typical - only with those severely ill, research is being done at the moment - lesser "evil" - why evil? Because it has a reputation as a street-drug, not because of addictive potential, which is said to be minimal - nor because it has nasty side-effects - what seems to scare people, is the idea, that it has psychoactive (dissociative/psychedelic) side effects - but even that can be (almost) done away with by giving it very slowly, or subcutaneously. It's been safely used in anaesthesia for ages. But man - people pleading to get zapped, killing themselves - good that "they" caught the message for those poor souls, for starters - who can argue with new synapses?! But how would you feel - being "only" very depressed, but not severely, not suicidal and hence denied relief, possibly total and lasting relief, and within hours? Won't take much longer, though - don't try this at home, please!

      There:
      BBC News - Ketamine 'exciting' depression therapy
      Ketamine for Depression: The Most Important Advance in Field in 50 Years? | TIME.com

      At first, ketamine seemed to throw a monkey wrench into that neat idea, however. It didn’t seem likely that a drug could repair cells within hours, but new research explored in a review paper in the journal Science suggests just that. Ketamine rapidly spurs the growth of new synapses, the connections between brain cells, and is associated with “reversal of the atrophy caused by chronic stress,” the authors write.
      What Fry also fails to mention in a bit of depth is that there are alternatives to Lithium, less toxic and you can stop them with less risk to relapse. They are antiepileptic drugs doing a very similar thing, they have their downfalls, too - but in comparison...
      The doc with her fish-oil and omega 3 fatty acids has a good point, too - Li and the other mood-stabilizers seem to have as a mechanism the stabilization of neural membranes - and membranes are made of fatty acids, and the highly unsaturated ones are beneficial. Soo - lots of fish, babies - at least for a try! Who can argue with her 15 years of peace and even working as a physician again and with no pill whatsoever? I hope she stays in her comfort-zone and it looks so to me! Seems Britain has an anti-discrimination act out, which did it's part to enable her getting the job - being the other docs' very own token loony, as she jokes... This legislation is great, I don't think, we got such a thing here - and this docu is fantastic to combat stigma! Of course I hope for part three coming up, but hopefully not because of new troubles of his, but because of good news.

      As you can guess - I'm very interested in mental health - in science anyway - in neuroscience anyway - but psychiatry especially fascinates me...





      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      Or to keep lucidity while in an LSD trip or things like that? Edit: I mean, if dreams could be considered to be Altered States of Consciousness, and based on the premise that during hallucinogenic experiences our level of awareness is reduced. If we can induce lucidity during a dream, why not doing the same during such experiences, if those are using the same mechanisms to produce the hallucinations? I guess it should be known a state of awareness to get that point during the experience in the first place, but I don't certainly know.
      You might be under a misapprehension here with the concept of lucidity in psychedelic experience. It is not so, that once on say LSD, people forget about this fact, like people forget/don't notice, that they are dreaming. What would it mean to you, that somebody gains lucidity on LSD? One can of course determine impairments in certain mental faculties, but lucidity I think, is not one of them. What new insight or faculties do you imagine possible with attaining lucidity on the substance? People describe, that they are completely aware of the fact that they are in an altered state and of it's nature. At the same time they are also "tripping" - it's not a contradiction.
      One more thing - a true hallucination is perceiving something which is not physically there at all. What people, who describe their experiences with LSD tend to describe are rather illusions, that's the technically correct term here. Meaning - there's a pot with flowers and you see an octopus making head-stand or something. But there is a pot, not nothing. Or hearing voices in the hair-dryer or vacuum-cleaner sound would also classify as illusion. As also snoop mentions it - you can't throw all substances with psycho-active effects into one bowl, dissociatives in really high doses are said to give you whole-scene hallucinations much like lucid dreams for example.


      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      The biggest issues with successfully pulling this off is, I would imagine, to be very knowledgeable and adept at meditation and controlling one's perceptions. ....
      That all being said, I'm sure given the right amount of practice, technique, and knowledge in meditation like those seen in monks and the like, it may be possible. However, most of the neurotransmitters involved in altered states prevent the sleep-wake system the mind and body operate off of from functioning correctly, so you may potentially be unable to accomplish what you're asking due to not even being able to be "asleep" and "dreaming" according to our definitions.
      Ah - okay - so you think, he actually means going to sleep under substances like this. I agree, this should be problematic - I also fail to see the sense in it, to be honest, and rather still suspect a misunderstanding...

      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      The brain on hallucinogens such as, for example, dissociative anesthetics such as ketamine, PCP, or DXM, or psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin (or more accurately, psilocin), or DMT, is highly disrupted from its normal self-regulating loops it must go through when modulating the creation of your perception and conscious awareness and it's continuous "flow". Attention and focus is normally a top-down process that makes use of many feedback loops that raise and dull your awareness by the activation or deactivation of various parts of the brain. When you take dissociatives, your brain has many of these self-regulating feedback loops shut off completely, and when that happens, hallucinations form. Psychedelics, on the other hand, cause these loops to become over-excited and at different points in different parts of the brain, after reaching a certain threshold, the loop can no longer sustain itself after becoming too overexcited and the loop completely uncouples (or, in other words, shut down/turn off). In this case, the over-excitation can cause hallucinations or odd disturbances in consciousness itself, but the subsequent uncoupling of the loop then has the same effect as the dissociatives, to form hallucinations due to lack of sensory input.
      The thing of it all is, most of these loops take place in the frontal lobes, which are required for reasoning and recognition among other things, but in this case those are highly relevant because it directly affects lucidity. However, I think when you are at certain states such as those caused by common psychedelics or dissociatives wind up being their own full blown experience, even if it is almost all hallucinated (quite like a dream, read up especially on breaking through on DMT or being stuck in a K-hole), it is known more as the experience of the drug than a dream you have gained lucidity in.
      This makes a lot of sense - part of it I know, but I have a certain feeling of - it would be great if we knew all that so well already, esp. with the problems concerning respective research - do you have good sources on this?
      Actually I do - just needed to check up on it: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)


      Quote Originally Posted by Zoth View Post
      It's not considered a mental disorder just because of the symptoms it presents, but because of a range of factors, being the most important one the continuous distress it causes to the person. Besides, schizophrenia is hardly the best example: it's not a disorder, it's a syndrome. The guys at DSM like to give pretty names to everything, but things like depression and schizophrenia are merely umbrella terms: not all schizophrenic people suffer from psychotic episodes, not all hear voices, etc etc. There are actually many mentally healthy people that hear positive/pleasant voices. How to resume then schizophrenia to a possible ASC? You can't.

      There is some interesting question to make though: can't we understand psychosis through the concept of dreams? Leaving that aside, one can assume that self-awareness differs in these 2 states: in a lucid dream, you're already increasing activity in prefrontal areas, and as lucidity itself increases, the levels of brain activity on those regions match a waking state progressively better and better. However, this is very different from any type of brain dis-regulation cause by disease/drugs, which may hinder the kind of self-awareness promotion you find. (Oh, not to mention that self-awareness can be indeed heightened in some ASC)
      Thanks for the clarifications - and yeah - it would be nice and it seems as if all these things are closely related, but once you take a closer look, you see, it's all not so easy at all - there are many, many different factors, most of them still largely unclear, and you are talking about a huge variety of phenomena, too.




      Sorry - need to get back to this and your last post later, Box - so - to be continued!

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      Thanks for the time!!!

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      it would be nice and it seems as if all these things are closely related, but once you take a closer look, you see, it's all not so easy at all - there are many, many different factors, most of them still largely unclear, and you are talking about a huge variety of phenomena, too.
      Yeah! I realized my first mistake was (as an ordinary human being) generalizing things too fast. I shouldn't put all of the ingredients at once and pretend to get a cake all of the sudden ( it's just a first step to put them on the table), perhaps I'm not that experienced to express what I'm thinking about a particular topic of my interest in a different language (not just "Ich muss auf die Toilette gehen"). Although sometimes I realize that I could be saying the opposite to what I'm thinking (Should I thank Google translate?).

      Thanks to all of the answers on this thread, I'm getting closer to what I think, although I have to put things in order a little bit more to properly express them. Sorry for the hard reading if someone cared to read my babbling. (Perhaps it would be nice to put a pair of wings like in the TOTM to every one who got to understand what I said )

      I see perhaps in every mental condition, there are extremes, like in psychopathy, and points that one can consider 'acceptable' for a social living. On the other hand, I may be confusing terms, because an illusion doesn't need to be an hallucination, for example. Although in that matter I was looking for a reliable source of brain activity graphics to distinguish one from another, etc. besides of some consulting dictionaries and stuff. I think I can find something in the links you provided but I have to see them first.

      Finally I got a little time to be on the subject without interruptions (Yep, they are on vacations ) So I will be there a bit more consistently... for a while.

      Edit:

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      I'm still unsure, if I understand you correctly. Are you talking about going to sleep while in a chemically altered state of mind and then become lucid?
      Not exactly, it was more like being aware about the state of mind during waking life and not being fooled by it, or something like that. I'm considering some of those states of mind as they were sort of dreams because of some of the things I've observed in some people who apparently suffer such episodes, and of course, some personal experiences in the field of false perceptions (which may include lucid dreaming).

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      It's for the individual person to decide, how much "disorder" is okay with them (well - at least until it's not okay with society any more) - weighed against the sort and dose of medication which would be needed to say completely silence the voices.
      Also check this out: Hearing Voices Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      It's also possible to be deluded on the one hand, and know that it is so on the other, but still believe in the delusion - weird thing called "double-bookkeeping" and rare as far as I know, but it's possible. Like seeing it for what it is and wanting it to go away and voluntarily take meds for it while still acting and thinking in accordance with the delusion. Maybe that would be your lucidity?
      Here, I find it to be closely related to what I mean, perhaps I'm not looking to silence the voices but exert sort of "dream control" over them, or something like that, although extending it to the field of false perceptions and/or hallucinations I think. In other words, could be something like applying some of the rules of lucid dreaming to some of those states of mind.

      That's a great link by the way!

      Quote Originally Posted by DreamingDingo View Post
      Inducing and controlling hallucinations? Like Closed eye visuals?
      Sorry for the late answer. Perhaps it could be a further application, who knows.
      Last edited by Box77; 08-10-2014 at 08:14 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      Sorry for the late answer.
      Well you know what, Box - I have to apologize - I've been procrastinating even clicking the thread!
      Our initial exchange triggered a bout of activity in me, which came into the above post - and then I was tired, and didn't even answer to your last before last one - I am really sorry for this. I didn't because it was too interesting, if you can believe such a thing. I did begin to understand you with it, and wow, now upon re-reading even more things come to my mind, which I would like to look up and bring along... I think, I understand you well now.
      It'll still take me some more days for answering to your last two posts - but do so I will! With or without bringing along whatever! pawprint.gif

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      Sooo! :sleepysteph:

      If you're answering a sentence - I'm perfectly happy, I hope you know that, Box, and anybody I'll come to "bombard" in such an extensive way. Sorry - I just write a lot, once I start on such a topic, I don't expect people to read it all, let alone answer to it all!


      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      Thanks a lot snoop!! Your explanations put light in part of my question I think, which is the processes involved during induced hallucinogenic experiences although there's still some other psychological phenomena that apparently includes hallucinations without the intervention of external substances, and there's the main point of my question which I hope, we'll get to that point soon, because I think it's closely related to the process of dreaming.
      Wow - you know, only answering to this has me throw stuff away and start over again. First of all was my impulse to say - yeah, but schizophrenia is not external but internal chemistry in my view, ultimately. With "psychology" acting as our inner, besides the outer environment upon the chemical make-up of a person at any moment and in the long run even on the anatomical level. This goes for all humans, not only those with a "diagnosis" by the way.
      There are genetic markers for sure, but in which way they lead to the syndrome - nobody knows. We don't even really know, how psychedelic drugs work in eliciting say illusions or hallucinations, except I didn't read enough lately. While I did read about hypotheses that schizophrenia is not so much about neuro-transmitters like dopamine primarily, but maybe has to do with synchronizing neural firing patterns, electrical integration phenomena:

      Abnormal neural oscillations and synchrony in schizophrenia : Abstract : Nature Reviews Neuroscience:

      Abstract
      Converging evidence from electrophysiological, physiological and anatomical studies suggests that abnormalities in the synchronized oscillatory activity of neurons may have a central role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Neural oscillations are a fundamental mechanism for the establishment of precise temporal relationships between neuronal responses that are in turn relevant for memory, perception and consciousness. In patients with schizophrenia, the synchronization of beta- and gamma-band activity is abnormal, suggesting a crucial role for dysfunctional oscillations in the generation of the cognitive deficits and other symptoms of the disorder. Dysfunctional oscillations may arise owing to anomalies in the brain's rhythm-generating networks of GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) interneurons and in cortico-cortical connections.

      Abnormal neural oscillations and synchrony in schizophrenia
      Peter J. Uhlhaas1,2 & Wolf Singer1,3 About the authors
      Check Singer out - I read some other stuff of his a while ago, but he's sort of specialized for ASC, especially schizophrenia but also writes as philosopher. Maybe I'll look up some of what I read later.

      Interestingly, it is about oscillations in the gamma-band, 40 Hz - the same frequency-range, which has been associated with lucidity in recent studies.

      Seemingly it can be either reduced, or heightened - the latter for example during face-recognition, at least in the syndrome's first manifestation:

      Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
      PsychiatryOnline | American Journal of Psychiatry |

      This looks like a hint at exactly what you are saying - lucid practice and schizophrenia both intimately connected to gamma band activity - you needed to start reading up on it yourself to get a proper picture, though. I remembered synchrony and just did a swift and superficial google-bothering for pointing you there.

      Seen from another side - meanwhile there are 100+ gen-loci identified, which play into this complex phenomenon, among them are some connected to dopamine-receptors, but interestingly most of them have to do with the immune-system - there are so many speculations...
      Look here for example: Schizophrenia: Genesis of a complex disease : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
      Many things, seen initially as something like a genetic disease, could turn out to rather be an actual adaptation, selected for by evolution. Not necessarily by causing the characteristic signs, but there are such speculations on bipolar in the book - so who knows? Maybe these effects are just a by-product or compromise connected with a beneficial gene - nobody freaking knows, actually! But it is remarkable that genes, which can be detrimental (and often are) to reproduction would persist in the gene-pool for so long and in such high frequencies - there must be more to it than meets the eye...

      A speculation (also not from Nesse, see below, unfortunately he doesn't dig deeper there), which does not look overly farfetched to me, is that psychosis might play a central role in the development and shape of religions, which in turn seem to at the least have been beneficial phenomena during the "childhood" of the human species. Otherwise religion should not have come to be so pervasive (agnostic atheist and naturalist, the me, but anyway - this of course you know, Box).
      I'd go as far as to say, the propensity to delusions, hallucinations, exuberance (also sexual) or meditative retreat with producing realistic insights, freed from the often fallacious, but usually beneficial human over-optimism, might have presented a selection advantage. Being "mad" can take the gestalt of saintly/prophetic/visionary/creative/inspired preaching/proneness to supernatural seeming experiences and tons of interesting other phenomena. An early social role for this with benefits for procreation is easily imaginable.

      I read somewhere, that it might be the ones, having such genes only from one parent and not from both, so called heterozygotes for certain gene-loci, who are the individuals actually profiting from the subdued traits - people who in fact never develop the syndrome as such - siblings for example.



      Part of what I initially wrote - I'll just leave it in:
      Just a thought - if you're not a dualist, then this distinction external/internal is rather meaningless. If you mean by psychological phenomena basically that the brain does it's thing, and in the course of that produces it's own multitude of chemical compounds, which are then more or less "in order" and have you functioning as you are functioning - then yes.

      Your brain can be working under externally administered chemical compounds, which are not naturally to be found in a human brain, yes, but these compounds can only come to effect by using the already pre-existing and functioning neuro-electro-chemical machinery, psycho-active drugs/meds almost all work by docking specifically to certain receptors. This machinery is constantly at work under the influence of various chemical compounds. It's very flexible and variable, you can for example produce more receptors, so the same amount of chemical has only a fraction of them occupied, which leads to tolerance-phenomena... The soup may be in order, or in some sort of disorder - it certainly is behind your mental activities all the time, if not on it's own.

      I don't expect you to be a Cartesian dualist, meaning to believe there is mind beyond brain or other substrate, a soul, or however you want to put it, something potentially surviving death nakedly, but I'm not sure and I still haven't watched the rest of this watchmaker follow-up-video you posted, by the way. I paused, once I would have had to take care to fiddle apart, with which things I agree and with which not... Does it have a dualistic punch-line, as I thought it might? But I enjoyed it - watched quite a lot - would actually be a good idea, this fiddling...
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RkTGUuvyvM



      But before I go on with any other thing, I would like to let things clear, I don't want to promote the use or abuse of any substance, I'm just wondering about the processes involved during those experiences and if it would be possible to exert a better control over them in order to understand it. I think that specially in the case of schizophrenia, it could help in order to better understand that phenomena. If somebody knows more about the subject, I would really appreciate your contributions with articles, experiences, other threads, etc. I don't know if this thread actually fits this sub-forum, if any Adm find a better place to put it, ( different than the garbage can), thank you.
      I think, you can only do your own reading up - there's the Inner Sanctum, which has such threads, as far as I know, but I'm unaware of the rules..
      Thing is - I do most definitively not want to be read or understood in a way here, as to encourage people to self-experiment. What I would say is - proper scientific research is needed - much more of it, even while it's indeed getting more. That's the only thing I can and want to say, and the only approach to it, which I could promote. Check Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) if you didn't yet - that's centred on respective actual science!

      Now, back to the road, I remember reading an article long ago, about some Nobel prize winner who used psychedelics to solve some problems which eventually lead him to the winning of the prize and I wanted to find more about him because of I didn't even remember what was his name. Then I got to a very interesting article which I would like to share here: Psychedelics Boost Intelligence - claims Nobel Prize winner, Stanford Research Institute, and others - BrighterBrains.org and this one here: Psychedelic Scientists: LSD-Using Visionaries - Impact Magazine
      Thank you! I bookmarked it - sounds familiar - I might even have read about it before.

      On the other hand, the mentioned film in my first post, "A Beautiful Mind" which I think is very suggestible to have some insight on the subject of schizophrenia, arose a question in my mind, if it would be possible to achieve a better understanding from an inner point of view, about that considered mental disorder which IMO could be nothing more than a misunderstanding of a common phenomena that we humans share and didn't realize yet.
      Okay - now I need to speculate, what you mean. Could it be you are saying that having hallucinations is a sort of potential feature? One which might be available not only to people in psychosis, but to all of us? Maybe just as LDing is available to almost all people, who seriously try, and since people can have all sorts of effects from taking substances, and people dream..?
      Is that what you are saying? This would basically also be very close to the concept of "lucid daydreaming", I needed to look up that thread, where a member claims, she can hallucinate on purpose, so to speak, and for creative, artistic ends. More than one member, some of the tulpa people, too.

      Or do you simply say, that gamma-band-mental-gymnastics could (highly) probably benefit schizophrenic people? Or both?

      We could be constantly living in some sort of "altered" states of mind. And as Sageous said, we could be considering those states as "normal" in stead.
      Not quite sure, if that was, what Sageous meant to say - or maybe it was? This he would have to answer himself, though.
      I'd rather say, that we could drop the concept of a "normal state of mind", that would be the easiest manoeuvre for starters, many people do so anyway...

      My point is, if we don't know the world as it is, and we are constantly assuming truths from things we don't know perhaps the world we think we live in, is different than the real world.
      A way I found to explain it is this: If I look around and find a door I never went through, I could assume it must be a living room behind it although I don't actually know what's behind it. I just base my assumption on the things I know from previous experiences. My brain could build an imaginary scenario of 'what's behind it', but most of the times (if not all), that scenario won't exactly fit my assumptions. I could say "there's a sofa", and the closest I can get is there will be a sofa, but it won't have the shape, colors, textures, etc. of the one I imagined. If I go around and start taking a look on all the things that surround me, there's a lot of things I don't know which normally I don't pay attention at all. But, if I start to care about it, my world will eventually turn in a street full of places that I don't know what's behind their walls. If I extend my view to other things, it goes even more complicated because of I don't know about them unless I have already interacted with them, and if I assume a point of view to be truth about the world that surrounds me without questioning it, a lot of things will start apparently falling into place apparently confirming my assumptions although many times it will be just an illusion.
      I'm not sure, I understand you - but it reminds me of a motive in Stephenson's Anathem, as I said before, I believe you would love the book! I just don't find the location easily, sorry. And honestly - I just give up on that now. That's a dualistic book, sort of, going the quantum-theory/multiverse/consciousness path, and I love it to bits anyways, it's art after all, fiction, and extremely clever.
      Are you on about an awareness for the possibility of all sorts of other realities lurking behind the coulisses? Like in lucid dreams - find a door, throw on your imagination - and it produces something for you? I'm a bit in guess-work mode here still, though...

      It's like a kid's play, when we are kids, we use to assume to be a character of our election and turn our point of view as we actually are that character, the world then changes into the scenario where this character exists and so on. What about if we are constantly doing it and still we don't know that we are like kids playing to be our favorite hero and we can change that assumption whenever we want?
      Again first comes rather an association, namely what the above mentioned "neuro-philosopher" Prof. Singer, primarily a proper neuroscientist, wrote somewhere. On that the human potential to play pretend would have something to do a) with human as opposed to animal consciousness and b) with schizophrenia. If I chance upon it, I'll add it.
      Otherwise - I don't still quite see what you mean.

      Once I wondered if it's possible to bring our real world consciousness into a dream, why not doing the opposite? To bring into real world our dream consciousness. I think that's the nature of hallucinations, a 'dream consciousness' brought into the real world. Usually, in a dream we assume things to be truth as they are our real world. Our dream character has its own 'personality' which sometimes doesn't fit our real world personality. Sometimes I became lucid in an apparently real world and it was really hard to find the difference, even worse that I didn't remember how my real world was then. I know with practice and stuff, one learn to differentiate one from the other, but in almost ordinary sleepers, we don't tend to distinguish one from another until we wake up. What happens when you wake up in a real world to realize it's not real?
      So this again sounds as if you were talking about hallucinations as a technique to learn for waking life - or maybe if you have it already, rather to get it under your volition and creativity. But then - what do you mean with the last one? I could wildly speculate and say - so - you realize, you have been living in a simulation, Matrix-style for all your life. But then you would in fact be waking up into the real world, but knowing your past was actually not physically real. Waking up in the astral plane, where you accidentally got stuck? Not my type of topic...

      Okay - sorry - in earnest: I read something interesting in my beloved latest book "Why We Get Sick" by Randolph M. Nesse on Darwinian medicine, but not what some people might think - eugenics, Nazis - nope.
      He speculates on why most dreams don't contain loud noises or intense smells and haptics. This could be useful in as far that the respective perceptions through the physical senses can easily over-rule the dream-hallucinations.
      He also ponders, if this plays into the specific modalities of psychotic hallucination. Voices or optic overlay are not as dangerous, as if you heard explosions and smelled dead bodies and tigers, say. Or felt as if somebody grabbed you. As far as I know, such things are rather rare in terms of hallucinations of any kind and cause. Much of the book is explicitly speculation - tons of ideas for further research!

      So - do I believe that your regular Jane could learn to hallucinate without external aids by acquiring and practising a technique? Yes. But I guess on the other hand it would be very difficult, since even slight hallucinations could be dangerous - esp. in the African plains of our fore-fathers. Besides - you needed a lot of mental control and personal insight to keep it all in check and sorted, I suppose. But the potential should be there and accessible to the dedicated and fearless.

      Space enough to say, what I believe dreams to be - evolutionarily developed for once and secondly providing a simulation space for practising for real life.
      Nesse doesn't mention this, but it's not my idea, well it is - but I read about it, too. Maybe I'll find something later. Lucidity is the next logical step for self-aware creatures in my view - only then can we, as complex as we are, really profit from this great tool. While our dog dreams of hunting or taking flight, we so often repeat socially awkward situations and whatnot else in normal dreams, which might often be rather irrelevant for our actual lives. Or maybe not so - maybe solvable and to be solved better with lucidity. Most of us are aware of the beneficial potential of LDs anyway, but much more might be possible than most can even imagine and/or are able to realize. How would teaching/coaching/fostering it in young children turn out?
      In principle it's of course possible, that it would interfere with the (classical/usual) cognitive development. Many young children lucid dream (citations can be produced!) and cease to do so around puberty - and around that time, schizophrenia develops, too. Which could be completely coincidental, or not. To what effects would it be to motivate children to practise, and keep it up into adulthood? Nobody knows, but I chose (on faith) to be hopeful there until evidence to the contrary reaches me!

      Quote Originally Posted by Box77 View Post
      I see perhaps in every mental condition, there are extremes, like in psychopathy, and points that one can consider 'acceptable' for a social living. On the other hand, I may be confusing terms, because an illusion doesn't need to be an hallucination, for example. Although in that matter I was looking for a reliable source of brain activity graphics to distinguish one from another, etc. besides of some consulting dictionaries and stuff. I think I can find something in the links you provided but I have to see them first.
      Hehee - you'll probably be quite disappointed - knowledge is still seriously lacking on a lot of aspects here. But not in the way, many people of a "beyonder persuasion" would interpreted it - as in neuroscience on consciousness is tapping in the dark. At times it's not even allowed to tap at all - great advances are being made all the time anyway!
      But it's an enormous hassle to get together all the governmental permits and there are big "safety-measure-hurdles" (expensive) against doing research with long-known psychotropic substances. Besides - such a topic could turn out to be a career-killer, if you're not already widely recognized. Switzerland, which is independent from USA's economic treatise-sphere has very good results to show in some of it's endeavours with PTSD and - funnily - cluster-headache, something severe, where not much else helps. It's a start. South America has more freedom, too. This might fit very well into your deliberations, if all hallucinations and maybe also illusion might be caused by the normal dream-generation-mechanism. The following, which also mentions lucid dreaming and new insights on memory-consolidation in dreaming-sleep is already up on here under Lucidity News, or something. Otherwise - I would rather go on and circumvent the topic in here!



      Not exactly, it was more like being aware about the state of mind during waking life and not being fooled by it, or something like that. I'm considering some of those states of mind as they were sort of dreams because of some of the things I've observed in some people who apparently suffer such episodes, and of course, some personal experiences in the field of false perceptions (which may include lucid dreaming).

      Here, I find it to be closely related to what I mean, perhaps I'm not looking to silence the voices but exert sort of "dream control" over them, or something like that, although extending it to the field of false perceptions and/or hallucinations I think. In other words, could be something like applying some of the rules of lucid dreaming to some of those states of mind.
      I think, I understand you much better meanwhile!
      So it is basically (also) about learning to navigate a psychosis in ways, developed in the LDing practice, akin to advanced dream-control.
      Something along those lines?
      Well - me here from behind my keyboard - what do I know? Sounds like a very good idea indeed! Great potential studies - could lucid dreaming proficiency provide some sort of tool-kit for people in acute psychosis, and for other hallucinating creatures, who would like to have (more) control over what is happening and potentially enjoying and profiting from it in novel ways? So that the experience is seen as having been beneficial and valuable "even" in hindsight? Potentially even when "judged" by a person other than the one having made the experience? Not implying, this isn't already happening at times...
      I'm all for it!!

    12. #12
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      Wow!!! It seems that the coffee machine will be busy these days around here . Well, I've started to follow the links you provided. At first glance I found some stuff that apparently corroborates what I'm starting to be suspicious about, but must review all first to get a proper conclusion. Thanks for the patience and time!!

      Ok, I will be updating my post according to what I will be finding on the way of my reading, just as a start:

      Common to these models is the proposal that schizophrenia represents a disturbed integration of incoming sensory input with regularities stored in memory (7Ė9). This lack of integration is reflected in deficits of perceptual organization (10), attention to relevant signals and inhibition of irrelevant signals (11, 12), and defective metacognitive processes (13). Braff (11) has attributed information-processing dysfunctions in schizophrenia to a miscoordination of distributed neural networks that would normally function in an integrated and time-linked manner.
      Here is one of the things that long ago called my attention because of another psychological/physiological phenomena which I wanted to discuss when I first came here but I caressed the ability to communicate my thoughts: Synesthesia. Because of it's another huge topic which I didn't explore as I would like to, and I find it somehow related to all of this. I think there's a lot still to come. If someone has some updated information on the subject, I would greatly appreciate if he/she shares it in this thread, due to I think this subject could be closely related into the whole thing. Here is a short article that apparently is moving in the direction I'm saying: Synesthesia and Schizophrenia | Schiz Life and this one here, apparently closely related: Frontiers | What can mirror-touch synaesthesia tell us about the sense of agency? | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

      Steph, from your links:

      The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium has now confirmed the existence of 108 loci that contribute to disease susceptibility. But even this number is insufficient to entirely explain the genetic causes of schizophrenia. So what does this discovery mean?

      First and foremost, it confirms that genetics is a major cause of the illness. The risk variants now identified are common ó they contribute in most, if not all, cases. This is a tremendous advance, of the sort that rewrites textbooks. Given the turbulent history of the field, this is a point that deserves emphasis and should be cause for well-earned celebration among those who carried out the work.
      I think it probably could lead to the same Fry's point about Bipolar Disorder in genetics. Maybe because of there's some important thing missing. My point is, could it be the relation with the lines above mentioned 'curious' phenomena?

      From the recent links I've found:

      We donít really have any solid data on how common synesthesia is because of a few peculiar aspects of the experience. For one, it usually becomes absorbed into other diagnoses and not noticed as a stand alone experience. Someone might begin experiencing hallucinations including synesthesia but only report the broad experience of hallucinating because they donít realize that this crossing of the senses is beyond the normal realm of hallucinating.
      The importance of SoAg is also demonstrated by the striking changes in this experience associated with various psychiatric (e.g., schizophrenia) and neurological (e.g., cortico-basal degeneration) disorders. While in recent years a number of studies have examined SoAg in these clinical groups, one group of individuals that have not yet been examined are those with mirror-touch synaesthesia (MTS). This opinion article seeks to explain why changes in SoAg may occur in MTS and also why mirror-touch synaesthetes could offer unique insights into the neurocognitive basis of SoAg.
      From the Wikipedia article: Neural basis of synesthesia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Alternatively, synesthesia may arise through "disinhibited feedback" or a reduction in the amount of inhibition along feedback pathways (Grossenbacher & Lovelace 2001). It is well established that information not only travels from the primary sensory areas to association areas such as the parietal lobe or the limbic system, but also travels back in the opposite direction, from "higher order" cortical regions to early sensory areas. Normally, the balance of excitation and inhibition are maintained. However, if this feedback were not adequately inhibited, then signals coming from later stages of processing might influence earlier stages of processing, such that tones would activate visual cortical areas in synesthetes more than in non-synesthetes. In this case, it might be possible to temporarily have synesthetic experiences after taking drugs like LSD or mescaline. Indeed, some psychedelic drug users report synesthesia-like experiences, although the exact degree of similarity between these drug induced experiences and congenital synesthesia is still unclear.
      Wouldn't it be that actually most of those hallucinogenic experiences (including dreams), have the shape or a start on a synesthetic activity in the brain? That could explain their possible 'unknown' physical source. I think it's not that dreams are constructed upon non-existing things but their source is getting in through a different path. I mean, a sound could be translated into a visual thing for example, and via schema it could be constructed a whole dreamscape, etc.

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      A speculation (also not from Nesse, see below, unfortunately he doesn't dig deeper there), which does not look overly farfetched to me, is that psychosis might play a central role in the development and shape of religions, which in turn seem to at the least have been beneficial phenomena during the "childhood" of the human species. Otherwise religion should not have come to be so pervasive (agnostic atheist and naturalist, the me, but anyway - this of course you know, Box).
      Not only religion but many belief systems about the universe. And not just because of psychosis but some other bypassed phenomena I would say.

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      It's very flexible and variable, you can for example produce more receptors, so the same amount of chemical has only a fraction of them occupied, which leads to tolerance-phenomena...
      perhaps the primitive brain could be telling something like: "Could you stop putting that crap on me? Damn, now I must build new receptors for my own chemistry!" And then after leaving the consumption aside, it could be something like: " What the heck! Now what am I supposed to do with so many receptors!?? Are you crazy??" First abstinence syndrome symptoms begin to take over...

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      I don't expect you to be a Cartesian dualist, meaning to believe there is mind beyond brain or other substrate, a soul, or however you want to put it, something potentially surviving death nakedly, but I'm not sure and I still haven't watched the rest of this watchmaker follow-up-video you posted, by the way. I paused, once I would have had to take care to fiddle apart, with which things I agree and with which not... Does it have a dualistic punch-line, as I thought it might? But I enjoyed it - watched quite a lot - would actually be a good idea, this fiddling...
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RkTGUuvyvM
      Oh, that one! Haha, let me guess, I posted it in a thread called "The what Youtube video are you watching right now" or something like that right? It doesn't say, "The what you think thread". Anyway, I found it interesting, although I gave up when the girl started to act holding the camera in front of her... I get easily distracted when I see people talking about something. It was a pain in the university, sometimes I rambled about the way certain professor moved his hand and things like that. I tend to focus on irrelevant signals . Like in that one video of the archer you posted there, I don't see a flowing video of both the archer and the hit together. How many shots for one hit? etc.

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      Are you on about an awareness for the possibility of all sorts of other realities lurking behind the coulisses? Like in lucid dreams - find a door, throw on your imagination - and it produces something for you? I'm a bit in guess-work mode here still, though...
      I'm not sure about it, because of in my lucids, doors lead to the same boring stuff for more that I creatively 'expect' something interesting to be there. I must find places from non-lucid dreams to get the proper links and connect with those fabulous worlds, for example. Too complex to consider something to be absolute truth from there.

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      So - do I believe that your regular Jane could learn to hallucinate without external aids by acquiring and practising a technique? Yes. But I guess on the other hand it would be very difficult, since even slight hallucinations could be dangerous - esp. in the African plains of our fore-fathers. Besides - you needed a lot of mental control and personal insight to keep it all in check and sorted, I suppose. But the potential should be there and accessible to the dedicated and fearless.
      With the addition of an ignored synesthetic perception of the world around, I think it could go a bit further than that because of possibly many people could be living in a different world than the apparently standard. Perhaps there's no such thing of a 'standard' and everyone perceives it in its own neural connected way and just assumes that everybody feel the world the same. Just speculating.

      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      Lucidity is the next logical step for self-aware creatures in my view - only then can we, as complex as we are, really profit from this great tool. While our dog dreams of hunting or taking flight, we so often repeat socially awkward situations and whatnot else in normal dreams, which might often be rather irrelevant for our actual lives. Or maybe not so - maybe solvable and to be solved better with lucidity. Most of us are aware of the beneficial potential of LDs anyway, but much more might be possible than most can even imagine and/or are able to realize. How would teaching/coaching/fostering it in young children turn out?
      I consider that as a very interesting approach too. My dog had nightmares sometimes . And I was blown up when my older daughter told me once that she knew she was dreaming. Although I must check it right because of perhaps she meant she knows what was a dream. Not sure about it, but I always try to teach them the practice. I learned by myself long ago because of a nightmare thanks to my brother and an Episode of Scooby Doo where Shaggy asks Scooby to pinch him with a needle in order to wake up because he thought they were in a bad dream .

      Watching the video about Ayahuaska right now, another hallucinogenic I would say. To be continued later (less than a couple of mins for the edit option to 'naturally' die if I'm not wrong)...
      Last edited by Box77; 08-17-2014 at 05:21 PM.
      StephL likes this.

    13. #13
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      Interesting article on sense of agency and mirror touch synaesthesia!
      They describe something similar to the rubber hand illusion in it - so I thought it might be nice to bring the following video to really demonstrate how perfectly "neuro-typical" people can be tricked into confusion concerning self-other representation as well:



      What I only remember is an article, how they did something like that for a whole body - and then I found this - they only graze upon it, but mention the effect, that when there is say a bad trauma, a near-death-experience - the mind can separate identity from the body-schema in such a way as to feel external to the damaged, suffering body in pain, OBE as some sort of mechanism to spare the mind the trauma in it's fullness, or so:



      Maybe you'll find more, checking out the people, who did this second video.

      They both mention neuro-plasticity - and belonging there is the other thing, your post made me think of - if you translate visual data from a camera to little electrical sensations on the tongue - blind people can rudimentary start to see again:

      Tasting the Light: Device Lets the Blind "See" with Their Tongues - Scientific American

      Neuroscientist Paul Bach-y-Rita hypothesized in the 1960s that "we see with our brains not our eyes." Now, a new device trades on that thinking and aims to partially restore the experience of vision for the blind and visually impaired by relying on the nerves on the tongue's surface to send light signals to the brain.


      About two million optic nerves are required to transmit visual signals from the retina—the portion of the eye where light information is decoded or translated into nerve pulses—to the brain's primary visual cortex. With BrainPort, the device being developed by neuroscientists at Middleton, Wisc.–based Wicab, Inc. (a company co-founded by the late Back-y-Rita), visual data are collected through a small digital video camera about 1.5 centimeters in diameter that sits in the center of a pair of sunglasses worn by the user. Bypassing the eyes, the data are transmitted to a handheld base unit, which is a little larger than a cell phone. This unit houses such features as zoom control, light settings and shock intensity levels as well as a central processing unit (CPU), which converts the digital signal into electrical pulses—replacing the function of the retina.

      From the CPU, the signals are sent to the tongue via a "lollipop," an electrode array about nine square centimeters that sits directly on the tongue. Each electrode corresponds to a set of pixels. White pixels yield a strong electrical pulse, whereas black pixels translate into no signal. Densely packed nerves at the tongue surface receive the incoming electrical signals, which feel a little like Pop Rocks or champagne bubbles to the user.

      It remains unclear whether the information is then transferred to the brain's visual cortex, where sight information is normally sent, or to its somatosensory cortex, where touch data from the tongue is interpreted, Wicab neuroscientist Aimee Arnoldussen says. "We don't know with certainty," she adds.

      In any case, within 15 minutes of using the device, blind people can begin interpreting spatial information via the BrainPort, says William Seiple, research director at the nonprofit vision healthcare and research organization Lighthouse International. The electrodes spatially correlate with the pixels so that if the camera detects light fixtures in the middle of a dark hallway, electrical stimulations will occur along the center of the tongue.

      "It becomes a task of learning, no different than learning to ride a bike," Arnoldussen says, adding that the "process is similar to how a baby learns to see. Things may be strange at first, but over time they become familiar."

      Seiple works with four patients who train with the BrainPort once a week and notes that his patients have learned how to quickly find doorways and elevator buttons, read letters and numbers, and pick out cups and forks at the dinner table without having to fumble around. "At first, I was amazed at what the device could do," he said. "One guy started to cry when he saw his first letter."

      "We can't just throw up an eye chart. We have to take a step back and describe the rudimentary precepts that these people are getting," Nau says. "The images are in black and white, pixilated. How do you recheck vision?"

      Nau is particularly interested in the BrainPort because it is non-invasive, unlike implants.

      The key to the device may be its utilization of the tongue, which seems to be an ideal organ for sensing electrical current. Saliva there functions as a good conductor, Seiple said. Also it might help that the tongue's nerve fibers are densely packaged and that these fibers are closer to the tongue's surface relative to other touch organs. (The surfaces of fingers, for example, are covered with a layer of dead cells called stratum corneum.)
      Hope, that fits a bit into your lines of interest!
      Just strange, they can't say if it's the optical cortex areas or sensorimotor ones doing the final computation...
      Probably meanwhile they can - happy further browsing!


      Edit: But that opening statement is somewhat flawed - the retina is technically considered an actual part of the brain, and it's cell layers do their own data processing directly in the eye. The retina is not only a sensory receptor, but has a neural network of it's own right - so bypassing it will always result in a loss of data-integration. Anyway - great stuff and non-invasive.

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      Quote Originally Posted by StephL View Post
      Interesting article on sense of agency and mirror touch synaesthesia!
      They describe something similar to the rubber hand illusion in it - so I thought it might be nice to bring the following video to really demonstrate how perfectly "neuro-typical" people can be tricked into confusion concerning self-other representation as well:


      What I only remember is an article, how they did something like that for a whole body - and then I found this - they only graze upon it, but mention the effect, that when there is say a bad trauma, a near-death-experience - the mind can separate identity from the body-schema in such a way as to feel external to the damaged, suffering body in pain, OBE as some sort of mechanism to spare the mind the trauma in it's fullness, or so:


      Maybe you'll find more, checking out the people, who did this second video.

      They both mention neuro-plasticity - and belonging there is the other thing, your post made me think of - if you translate visual data from a camera to little electrical sensations on the tongue - blind people can rudimentary start to see again:

      Tasting the Light: Device Lets the Blind "See" with Their Tongues - Scientific American



      Hope, that fits a bit into your lines of interest!
      Just strange, they can't say if it's the optical cortex areas or sensorimotor ones doing the final computation...
      Probably meanwhile they can - happy further browsing!


      Edit: But that opening statement is somewhat flawed - the retina is technically considered an actual part of the brain, and it's cell layers do their own data processing directly in the eye. The retina is not only a sensory receptor, but has a neural network of it's own right - so bypassing it will always result in a loss of data-integration. Anyway - great stuff and non-invasive.
      Definitively I'll check up more about it. That statement about blind people being able to "rudimentary see" through another sense, brought back to my mind an old idea I had about deaf people being able to "rudimentary hear" through their hands by placing them on the speakers and perceiving the vibrations there. That was just a flaw idea but somehow, it made sense back in the days. I never checked about it because of it was that sort of idea that used to pop up in my mind when I was on my way to do other non-related things.

      I liked pretty much the videos you posted, what a better example than that!
      StephL likes this.

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      No - that's not a flawed idea at all! A friend told me about a friend of hers, who is deaf, and loves going to techno parties, because she can feel the rhythm and bass and dance to it.


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